Watsu® is applied in a water environment and uses a number of flowing, rocking, extension, and cradling motions and patterns derived from shiatsu in its theory and general approach.


Watsu® originated from water-based Shiatsu. Harold Dull developed water shiatsu in 1980. He noticed that shiatsu stretches were more effective in water because the muscles and tissues were able to release tension more easily and completely.


Treatment involves the gentle release of tightness identified within the muscles and fascia, or energy restrictions found within the tissues. These movements can be stretching motions, gentle twisting to and fro, and rocking motions that move from one gentle movement into another.

Watsu® techniques also include Wassertanzen (meaning water dance), which is an intricate, flowing underwater movement and massage technique.

Explore This Practice For

Watsu® can help relieve stress, return joint mobility, and movement fluidity. It can also help clients relax as an advanced form of hydrotherapy.


A level of training that includes every competency component needed to safely and appropriately apply the treatment.


An additional treatment that first requires the practitioners to be trained in an appropriate related discipline.